"High Definition Vinyl" Is Happening, Possibly as Early as Next Year

The plan is to have test pressings ready for Detroit's Making Vinyl conference this October, with LPs arriving at your favorite record store sometime next year. Pitchfork is reporting that Austrian based startup Rebeat Innovation has received $4.8 million in funding for the initiative, founder and CEO Gunter Loibl told Pitchfork. In 2016, a European patent filing described a way of manufacturing records that the inventors claimed would have higher audio fidelity, louder volume, and longer playing times than conventional LPs.

If you love listening to music on vinyl records, we have some good news for you.

Cutting lathes and nickel-plated stampers to press vinyl are outdated and HD Vinyl will use lasers to etch a better "stamper". Rebeat Innovation is betting that by using more precise tools to essentially carry out comparable tasks, it will create a better quality piece of vinyl with less loss of audio information (and in the process, eliminate some manufacturing steps). It will also reduce the environmental damage of vinyl production by eliminating chemical processes and toxic waste.

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While the company has pledged the new records will work on existing turntables, it's unclear whether those quality and amplitude benefits will be felt on the average person's vinyl set up. Keep your eyes peeled for more info on HD vinyl.

It's not clear whether the increase in sound quality meets that definition of high-def audio, or whether this is more of a marketing term created to simply infer better quality. Then, after the system is operational, test stampers will be produced and sent to a select five pressing plants.

Assuming all goes according to plan, they are hoping to get the first HD vinyls into stores by the summer of 2019.

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